Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “The Hate U Give” & “The Hummingbird Project”

Posted September 8, 2018 by Mitch Salem

  THE HATE U GIVE (20th – October 19):  YA radicalization.  George Tillman Jr’s film, from a sprawling script by Audrey Wells (based on the novel by Angie Thomas) centers on Starr (Amandla Stenberg), an African-American teen who witnesses her friend shot to death by a white cop.  But the story also wants to encompass […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Widows” & “The Front Runner”

Posted September 8, 2018 by Mitch Salem

  WIDOWS (20th – Nov. 16):  Widows is a genre movie that isn’t sure it wants to be one.  That’s not a shock, because the idea of the aesthete director Steve McQueen, of Hunger, Shame and 12 Years A Slave renown, toiling in the land of Ocean’s 8 seemed odd from the start.  And for […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Beautiful Boy,” “Homecoming” & “Vox Lux”

Posted September 7, 2018 by Mitch Salem

  BEAUTIFUL BOY (Amazon/October 12):  A true-life story of drug addiction told with sincerity and superb acting, but which can’t shake the feel of generic problem drama.  Felix Van Groeningen’s film (co-written with Luke Davies) is based on parallel memoirs by recovering addict Nic Sheff (played most of the time by It Boy Timothee Chalomet) […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Fahrenheit 11/9,” “The Predator” & “Greta”

Posted September 7, 2018 by Mitch Salem

  FAHRENHEIT 11/9 (Midwestern – opens September 21):  In the course of Fahrenheit 11/9, Michael Moore takes a shot at Jeff Zucker and Les Moonves for admitting that Donald Trump has been good for their businesses, but it’s a weakness of Moore that he lacks the self-knowledge to recognize that the same is true for […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Darkest Hour” & “Mudbound”

Posted September 14, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  DARKEST HOUR (Focus/Universal – Nov. 22):  A shameless piece of rabble-rousing Hollywood biography, directed by Joe Wright and written by Anthony McCarten, and served hot on a platter to Oscar voters.  The subject is Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman), and the terrain is the first few weeks of his tenure as Prime Minister, doubted by […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Professor Marston & The Wonder Women” & “In the Fade”

Posted September 13, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN (Annapurna – Oct. 13):  In the hothouse of a film festival, movies that are unrelated inevitably begin to collide with each other in the viewer’s mind.  So it’s difficult, in a festival that’s given us the extraordinary Disobedience, to give similar weight to Angela Robinson’s much frothier and thinner […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Breathe” & “3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Posted September 12, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  BREATHE (Bleecker Street – Oct 13):  BREATHE wasn’t the favored Triumph of the Human Spirit drama at Toronto this year; that title went to Stronger, with Jake Gyllanhaal as a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing.  Not having seen Stronger, I can’t compare the two, but Breathe has plenty in it to please audiences […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Downsizing” & “The Shape of Water”

Posted September 12, 2017 by Mitch Salem

  DOWNSIZING (Paramount – Dec 22):  Alexander Payne’s latest film (written with his usual partner Jim Taylor) is a delight–and a bit of a mess.  On its face, Downsizing is a leap out of Payne and Taylor’s comfort zones, renowned as they are for small-scale character studies and social satires like Election, The Descendants, Sideways […]

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